La Rochelle discovers Vincent Pluss and the “New Swiss Cinema”
At the 32nd International Film Festival in La Rochelle, France, (June 25 – July 5, 2004) a special series will be dedicated to the work of Geneva director Vincent Pluss, who won the 2003 Swiss Film Prize with his feature debut “On Dirait le Sud”. Titled “Vincent Pluss and the New Swiss Cinema”, it presents films by three additional directors of the same generation from the French part of Switzerland: Ursula Meier, Jean-Stéphane Bron and Pierre-Yves Borgeaud. “Au sud des nuages” by Jean-François Amiguet is also to be shown in La Rochelle. The series program, which was organized in cooperation with SWISS FILMS, includes a discussion forum on July 1 with all the directors in attendance.In addition to the full-length feature “On dirait le Sud” (2002) short films by Vincent Pluss such as “L’Heure du Loup” (1996), “Tout Est Bien” (2000), and “XY“ (2001), as well as the dance movies “The Mœbius Strip” (2002) and “The Greenhouse Infect” (2003) will be introduced. Ursula Meier presents her two short films “Des heures sans sommeil” (1998) and “Tous à table” (2001), the documentary film “Autour de Pinget” (2000), and the feature film “Des épaules solides” (2002), which was produced as part of an ARTE series. Director Jean-Stéphane Bron will screen “Corn in Parliament” (2003), and Pierre-Yves Borgeaud will show his choreographal short film “Interface – cartographie 3” (2003) as well as “iXième, journal d’un prisonnier” (2003), which won the Golden Leopard in last year’s video competition at the Locarno International Film Festival.
In the festival catalogue’s introduction to the series in La Rochelle, Swiss film critic Thierry Jobin (Le Temps) emphasizes Vincent Pluss’ political engagement by his establishment of the “Doegmeli” movement that gave young filmmakers in the French part of Switzerland a new voice beginning in 2000/01. The film “XY” serves as a prime example of Pluss’ contribution to the movement by following the limiting rules of Swiss film promotion ad absurdum under the motto “to cineastically multiply”. The newly found self-awareness of filmmakers in the French part of Switzerland and the development of a “New Swiss Cinema” will be among the themes discussed at the forum on July 1.
The significant attention in La Rochelle given to young filmmakers from the French part of Switzerland can also be measured by the fact that two of the movies shown have already found a French distributor in the lead up to the festival: “On Dirait le Sud” by Vincent Pluss (Héliotrope Films) and “Des épaules solides” by Ursula Meier (Les Films du Paradoxe) .”Corn in Parliament” by Jean-Stéphane Bron, which will be shown in La Rochelle immediately after its French premiere at the festival “Cinéma du reel” in Paris in March 2004, is also being distributed in France (Documentaire sur Grand Ecran).
Zurich, June 14, 2004